Is Steak Beef? Or Is It Another Type of Meat?

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While steak is a common term used to describe beef cuts from cows, there is a distinct difference between both beef and steak. While beef comes from cows, steaks don’t always come from them. Stay tuned to find out if steak is beef, and the other types of animals it can come from.

Is Steak Beef? Or Is It Another Type Of Meat?

Table of Contents

What Type of Meat is Steak?

Steaks are cut from animals like cattle, camels, goats, horses, kangaroo, sheep, ostrich, pigs, reindeer, turkey, deer, and all sorts of fish.

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A steak is a thick cut of meat often sliced across muscle fibers and may include bone. It is often grilled or fried. But it can also be diced and cooked in sauces (like steak and kidney pie), or minced to form patties (for hamburgers or other meat dishes).

Steak vs Beef

Steak refers to a piece of beef that is cut across the grain of the muscle. When we think about steak we often imagine a thick cut of red meat. However, there are many different types of steak each with its own distinct features, depending on the type of meat they’re cut from.

Some of the differences are outlined below.


While steak is commonly beef, not all beef is steak.

Typically, beef steaks are a cut of beef that has been prepared by cutting across the grain of the cattle. There are many types of beef i.e., roasts, short ribs, ground chuck, or sirloin, but only some of them are classed as steak.

When you look at a beef steak, you should be able to identify some unique lines seen within the meat. These lines come from the grain of the muscle and create a wonderfully unique steak texture we all know and love.


Beef is a type of meat that is extracted from a large cow. It is often consumed in large quantities around the globe. That is, apart from certain parts of the world (such as India), where the cow is seen as a sacred animal.

Is Steak Beef? Or Is It Another Type Of Meat?

Does Steak Only Come From Cows?

Although steak may refer to beef steaks, steaks do not only come from cows.

Simply put, a steak is a cut of meat that is sliced across the muscle of the animal. And this can be the case for any type of animal.

So you can have chicken steaks, pork steaks, tuna steaks, and so on.

Is Steak From a Cow or a Bull?

Beef steak is often obtained from castrated male beef cattle or from female beef cattle that have not given birth.

You won’t find many steaks from bulls, since bulls are more muscular compared to regular beef cattle.

What Part of The Cow Does Steak Come From?

The word steak is used to describe different cuts of beef, meaning that it doesn’t only come from one part of the cow. Different cuts of steak come from different sections of the cow, though the prime steak cuts include sirloin, tenderloin (fillet steaks), t-bone, rib eye, and rump steak. These come from the rear of the cow.

Skirt steaks and flank steaks come from the underside of the cow and aren’t actually considered steaks as they are typically cut in line with the grain of the meat, not across it.

These different types of steaks, though obtained from the same animal, have little in common with the other cuts of meat, apart from the fact that they all come from the same animal.

Here are some of the most popular steaks cut from different parts of beef.


The loin is primarily cut from the area around the cow’s spine. This part of the cow doesn’t get much exercise resulting in a more tender cut of steak.

The tenderloin is the leanest and most tender cut of steak, with a rich buttery texture. When cooked it carries a very mild flavor, which is why it’s best cooked over an open flame, to help tone down its robust flavors.

Sirloin steak also comes from the loin, but it’s not as soft as the tenderloin. Though it tastes good when grilled, thanks to its subtle beef flavor.

The t-bone is also cut from the loin but is normally cut from the area towards the lower front of the cow which is why it doesn’t include much of the juicy tenderloin.


Ribeye steak is the most popular type of steak found from the rib of the animal. The steak is cut very thick, with meat that is well-marbled throughout. This gives the meat a deliciously rich beef flavor.


The flank steak comes from the area around the cow’s belly. It is recognized by its thick grain and rectangular cut. This type of beef cut can be tough, especially if it’s not prepared correctly. Flank steak should be cooked to medium rare, then sliced against the grain for a juicy, tender bite.


Most of the chuck is kept aside from ground beef. The meat is well-marbled and harbors a rich beef flavor, though there are a few steaks cut from this part of the animal. These include the chuck eye, the chuck roll, the cold top blade, and the teres major.

The teres major is super tender, though not as tender as the tenderloin, with delectable flavors and minimal fat.


Round steaks are often divided into the top, bottom, and eye of the round. Top-round steaks can be used for a London broil while the bottom round is often kept for corned beef.

Moreover, the eye of the round makes incredible beef jerky.

Is Steak Beef? Or Is It Another Type Of Meat?

Are There Animals Without Steak?

Since steak is a type of meat that is cut against the muscle of a fairly large animal i.e., cow, horse, sheep, etc, you can’t get a steak from any ordinary animal with a muscle structure that doesn’t permit a steak cut.

There are three types of animals that we normally don’t see steaks from.

Animals Without Sufficient Meat

Animals like rabbits, fish like mackerel and pollock, frogs, and squirrels are all types of animals that are eaten across the world, although they aren’t big enough to cut a steak from.

Rather, these animals are often filleted, or cooked and eaten off the bone.

Animals Without a Muscular Flesh Structure

Some animals don’t have sufficient flesh and muscle structure, so it’s almost impossible to create a steak from them. Crustaceans, octopuses, shellfish, crabs, lobsters, and insects are enjoyed around certain parts of the world, but the absence of flesh is what prevents them from creating steak.

Animals Whose Meat is Marketed As Something Else

Some animals are perfectly able to produce steak, while others aren’t even marketed as steak, even when they should be. For instance, sheep, deer, and pigs are often referred to as meat chops instead of steak, even when the meat is sliced across the grain.

So, Is Steak Beef?

While steak can be obtained from certain cuts of beef, it doesn’t only come from beef. In fact, steak can come from all sorts of animals, even fish!


Is Chicken Fried Steak Beef or Chicken?

Contrary to what you may assume, chicken fried steak is actually a tenderized piece of beef steak.

Difference Between Beef And Steak Mince?

When compared to traditional beef mince, steak mince is lower in fat and calories but much higher in protein.

Are Steaks Beef or Pork?

Steaks are beef.

What’s The Difference Between Steak and Beef?

Beef refers to a type of meat that comes from the male cow. A steak is a thin slice of meat that is taken from the main part of the animal.

What Kind of Meat is Steak?

Steak is a slice of meat cut from the fleshy part of the beef carcass.

What Part of The Cow Does Steak Come From?

The steak comes from the cow’s hind legs.

Does Steak Only Come From Cows?

Steaks are a cut of meat that comes from all sorts of animals including cattle, camel, goat, horse, kangaroo, sheep, ostrich, pigs, and many types of fish like salmon.

Is Steak From a Cow or a Bull?

Steaks are thin slices of meat that come from male cattle including bulls.

Where Does Steak Come From On A Cow?

The steak is a portion of meat that is found in the cow’s hind leg.

Can You Get Steak From Baby Cows?

Yes, you can certainly get steak from baby cows. Baby cow’s steak or veal comes from the meat of baby calves or cows that have been slaughtered at just a couple of months old.

What’s The Difference Between Cow Steak And Fish Steak?

While cow steak comes from the cow’s hind legs, fish steaks are a cut of fish that is cut perpendicular to the spine, and may include a few bones.

What Other Animals Can You Get Steak From Apart From Cows?

Cattle, camel, goat, horse, kangaroo, sheep, ostrich, turkey, reindeer, salmon, swordfish, and pigs.

Is All Cow Meat Called Steak?

Not all cow meat is steak.

Is Steak Considered Beef?

Yes. While almost all steak is beef, steak refers to a piece of beef that has been cut across the grain of the muscle.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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